You'd never have been so deeply moved by a book as you will with A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. The book is more like a guide, or friend, to finding one’s purpose while on Earth — and, to become awakened. In so articulating your quintessential spiritual voyage, Tolle explores quotes from Jesus and Buddha — which also support his teachings without coming across as being too ‘preachy.’
Yes, you got it right — our best spiritual teacher's purpose was to live amongst us to teach us how to awaken and recognise our Oneness with the Universe. The greatest revelation from such examples in Tolle’s book is: the power which lies in our spiritual teachers lies within all of us; we need only to listen and become consciously present.
Tolle writes that this book is not for everyone, but he also mentions to those that attempt to read it [in a sense] have already started the process of awakening. Though the book is intrinsically detailed, it is quite simply grounded in the clear, understandable New-Age spiritual lingo. Many readers can walk away having learned to be a little more conscious of their actions on their journey — to find purpose in life.
Many of our negative actions — getting angry, anxiety, irritation, shouting, depression, fear, overly shyness, being vain, worry, envy, and self-conviction — are a natural part of our egoist mind. They are also a part of our personal, generational presence, and sometimes global consciousness, even though we are not born this way. We are now not being in the present-moment — we’re unrealistically wanting either past memories, or future actions, to happen now. This means many of the reasons we get upset with can be a part of the way we grew up, religious backgrounds, stereotypes, peer beliefs, media persuasion, or pressure from our careers, or abandoning our higher purpose here on Earth.
Tolle begins the first chapters of his insightful book comparing humans to flowers and trees, observing how they live without worry, or upset — they just live harmoniously. He says this is why Jesus referred to them in many sermons, “If God clothe simple flowers in such beauty, how much more has He clothe you.”
Without staying grounded in the present, there are many emotions that can upset us… pervading the body with negative energy. This sometimes causes unhealthy ‘dis-ease’ in the mind and body — though most people brush away emotions as nothing and ignore them. Agreed that emotions such as worry serve no real purpose; it is just physical negative energy. Struggle emotionally means we need to listen to life teaching us a lesson at that present-moment, instead of trying to drudge through to the next [in]action.
Tolle tells of his own brush with suicide from depression and mental anguish through ego identity, before becoming awakened — which is why he feels spiritual awakening is important for all of mankind. When we practice each day to bring consciousness into our behaviour, we bring about change; we ultimately create love within and around us. We become conscious of all things, including the songs birds chirp, the brightness and fresh smell in the grass and trees, the vivid colours in beautiful flowers, or the physical emotions that arise from the ego… from within.
What is impressive is how the book continually assists the reader to look inwardly at the self through meditational exercises, life examples, and parables, from other spiritual teachers.
Towards the end of the book Tolle gives the reader three words that can help bring about oneness in everyday activities — acceptance, joy and enthusiasm [enthusiasm: meaning ‘in god’]. He reminds us that change in the world can only start with change in ourselves first. He also asks the reader to use one of the above mentioned words in any situation where emotions arise. He suggests trying it on a daily basis with what we might not particularly love doing, such as washing dishes, laundry, or paying bills. When a slight physical emotion arises [maybe in the head, throat, chest or stomach], take a deep breath and bring attention to the present-moment through acceptance [accepting the current activity]. Since the activity must be done, try performing it without the undertone of dissatisfaction arising. One must, of course, be highly alert to recognise the emotions that may arise, albeit anyone would be able to do it too.
A New Earth is not your average spiritual, or self-help, book. It can leave you in limbo because of the magnitude of information about self, life, love, death, spiritual teachings, and the Universe. But, the book’s simple message when applied can truly bring about change, or transformation, in your life… if only you allow it to.
The book has been a New York Times bestseller for long. It has sold over a billion copies worldwide without much promotion. In addition, it moved media mogul Oprah Winfrey enormously to launch online classes to help the book reach more and more people and also discuss the chapters in context — for spiritual support.
Many of our life’s torments and battles can be alleviated through this simple source. Tolle is resolutely firm about his purpose to heal through his book — hence, his messages are doubly simple, yet so powerful.
Take a journey now through the self and find the roadmap that leads you through the Universe of life’s purpose — to become Awakened… to Oneness with God.